The Furniture First Board of Directors announced the approval of Wright Furniture & Flooring in Hannibal, Missouri, as a new Member on Thursday, September 27, 2012.
Wright Furniture & Flooring is a three store chain that includes Waters Furniture in Vandalia, MO, and Howards Furniture & Mattress in Bowling Green, MO. Each location is a full-line furniture store. Like most Furniture First Members, Wright Furniture is a family-owned business with a long history and a strong connection with their community.
The addition of Wright Furniture brings the Membership rolls to 193 stockholders, with 413 furniture stores in 47 states. “Furniture First offers a competitive advantage to independents in a difficult economy,” stated Furniture First President Bill Hartman. “Our programs add to their bottom line with rebates, discounts and operational efficiencies. But the other benefits we offer, like our exclusive merchandise and private labels, also help them improve their margins and stand out from the competition in their local markets.”
The qualifications for Membership in the National Buying Group result in a high-quality cooperative. Furniture First takes on only stores that are full-line independents that have been in business for more than five years, though the average age of Member businesses is more than 45 years. Stores are required to have good credit and meet minimum volume requirements. Most Members, whether they have a single storefront or a chain of locations, serve the solid middle market of consumers. Since the group is geographically exclusive by representation, Members are not in direct competition with each other, adding to the overall willingness to share and collaborate among the Cooperative’s Members.
This October, at the High Point Market, Furniture First will present their new private label Mattress 1st lineup to their Members in the buying group’s showroom on the second floor of the Radio Building at 164 S. Main Street. The exclusive, private label bedding line focuses on the promotional end of the mattress market, which is manufactured by Serta.
In addition to the bedding review, Furniture First plans a series of Members-only group shops to introduce new lines and highlight exclusive private labels. Furniture First’s showroom will display select products from several of their suppliers, but the space also serves as a resource for Members attending Market. They can stop by to pick up information about programs and merchandise or they can use a computer, printer and fax machine in an office-away-from-home.
About Furniture First:
Furniture First is a 18-year-old national buying group serving the retail home furnishings and mattress industry. Furniture First has 192 company members representing 410 store fronts and $1.5 billion in retail sales. For more information on Furniture First, call Bill Hartman at 800-411-3477, ext. 123 or email BHartman@FurnitureFirst.com
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